Sepia photograph of gallery room with display cases

Images and photography

From sourcing and downloading images to licensing and costs, discover how you can access the British Museum's huge repository.

Finding images

The easiest way to find images of British Museum objects is to search our database Collection online. Depending on what you need the image for, there are several options for downloading images, which you'll find below.

Images from other areas of the website may also be available for re-use. To check the copyright status of these images, please email

Several thousand images can be ordered directly through the Museum's commercial image service, British Museum Images. For more information and to search for images, visit

You can also buy art prints from the British Museum Shop Online

Downloading and using images

How you download an image and what type of licence you may need depends on your intended use.

To determine whether it's for personal, non-commercial or commercial use, please read the Museum's copyright and permissions page

Non-commercial use – Creative Commons licence

Most images that are © The Trustees of the British Museum are available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence.

Up to 750 pixels wide (72 dpi)

  • Download images directly from the collection online
  • Right-click image and select 'Save image as...' or 'Save picture as...' etc.

Up to 2,500 pixels (300dpi)

  • Request images using the free image service
  • Click on 'Use image' under images in Collection online
  • Images will be sent by email within 24 hours

There is no cost for the non-commercial use of images. However, the Museum welcomes donations towards the costs of photographing the collection and providing the free image service. Make a donation

Commercial use – British Museum Images licence

Even if your intended use is not for profit, it may still be deemed commercial by the Museum, in which case you must obtain a licence from British Museum Images. For guidance on this, please read the Museum's definition of commercial use.

The size and resolution of images will depend on your intended use and budget, as well as the size/quality of the original image.

The cost of the licence will depend on your intended use. For a free quote, please email with a link to the image(s) and as much information as possible about your intended use. Search

Filming and photography

Professional filming and photography in the Museum

The Broadcast Unit deals with all professional and commercial requests to photograph exhibits and locations within the Museum. Commercial or professional photography must be arranged in advance through the Broadcast Unit. Please email

Commissioning new photography

Not all objects in the Museum's collection have been photographed, and some images may not be of commercial quality. Requests for new photography – carried out by our in-house photographers – should be directed to